Watchdog: Government may have separated many more children from migrant families

Family separations were taking place before the ‘zero tolerance’ policy was announced

Watchdog: Government may have separated many more children from migrant families
In this Dec. 2, 2018 file photo, taken from the Tijuana, Mexico, side of the border, Honduran migrants react as they surrender to the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the border wall in to the United States. A recent watchdog report from Health and Human Services says that many more children may have been separated from their migrant parents than previously thought. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File) (Source: Ramon Espinosa)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government investigators say many more migrant children may have been separated from their parents than the Trump administration has acknowledged.

A report from the Health and Human Services inspector general's office finds that family separations were taking place before the spring of last year, when the administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy on the southwest border.

The administration has identified a little more than 2,700 children as part of a court case in which a federal judge ordered families reunited. Investigators concluded that the true number of migrant children separated from their parents is unknown and could be much higher.

President Donald Trump was forced to rescind the family separation policy this summer after an outcry.

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